One look at Jay Jackson and you know the dude is a pro “” the type who is easy in his own skin and is easy in the spotlight. His Eurasian looks easily make him a headturner in the fashion scene, having done magazine spreads and having walked for major designer brands from Paris and Milan to New York and Hong Kong.

What makes this wide-eyed, freckle-faced model so relatable, though, is that he enjoys the most regular things every other guy does “” a nice party around town, a weekend getaway to the beach, hanging out with his gang.

Jay can transition from beach sunsets to fashion runways through a change of clothes and countenance at the drop of a hat. /ESCAPE finds that while roaming the world with his free-spirited vibe, Jay Jackson proves that when you live in the moment, your roots are right where you are.

/ESCAPE: What is your present state of mind?

Jay Jackson: Complete nirvana, peace and happiness, as I am on the beach right now relaxing 🙂

How would you describe your modelling experiences abroad?

JJ: My modeling experiences abroad have been the center of my happiness and also at the same time the reason for overwhelming stress “” but the good stress, the kind of stress that makes you want to achieve your goals and be better. These experiences they can’t teach in books.

How many countries have you lived in so far?

JJ:I’ve lived in 10 countries so far. I always look at them as people I know. The Philippines being my soulmate; Paris my lover; and London and Hong Kong being my partners-in-crime.

What’s your best travel memory?

JJ: I’ve got 2. The turning of 2012 to 2013 in Hong Kong with my friend Madi as we counted down to New Year’s Eve and we kissed. My other best memory would also be in Hong Kong about 2 years later with my friend Amy at the Rugby 7s whilst watching USA versus England.

What’s the best keepsake from your travels that’s most special to you?

JJ: Those would be my childhood photos of my family in a ziplock bag, a bracelet from someone close to me, and a giraffe bookmark someone lent me. And a journal from my cousin.

They say travel only with those you love. Who’s the last one you’ve traveled with?

JJ: They do say that! It’s definitely better when you travel with someone you love because when you travel with someone, you really see their true colours! The last person I’ve traveled with is my soulmate Amy. We are a great team.

Aside from modelling, what other pursuits do you have?

JJ: Aside from modelling my goal is to eventually make a name for myself and make my way into a creative direction where I can use this amazing eye I have for aesthetics.

How do you stay fit?

JJ: I stay fit by working out 6 times a week, eating a healthy breakfast, a fun lunch and a big dinner.

What’s your take on body image issues even boys have to deal with?

JJ: My take on body image is that at the end of the day, not one person has the exact same body. Yes, you can work out and eat heathy but you should be doing that for your own health, not because you want to look like someone in a magazine or because you saw someone who looked good on TV. You should do it only for you! You are built with one body, and one body only, cherish it because no matter what, that’s all you’ve got “” you look good and you should be damn proud. As a male, it’s hard because we are told that being Abercrombie-buff and James Dean-chiseled is the number 10! That’s absolutely not true. Sometimes we are cardboard-thin and soft-looking and, sometimes, we are pear shaped and have average height “” those are still 10s to me.

They say Bacolod boys are the sweetest. How true is this?

JJ: We are pretty sweet. Maybe it’s just because of all the sugar cane we eat, or maybe it’s because we are just easygoing farm boys.

How do you dress up for a night about town?

JJ: I dress up for a night out in town by pretty much wearing things that almost don’t get me in. I like a risk. 🙂

What makes a great party?

JJ: Well, let’s just say one of my favorite quotes is from The Great Gatsby and its goes, “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties, there isn’t any privacy.”

Mountain-top hike or weekend at the beach?

JJ: Definitely weekend at the beach. Obviously.

How would you describe the style scene in Manila?

JJ: The style scene in Manila is amazing! It’s a hybrid of a bunch of people from all over the world getting mixed up into a bowl and spit out and walking down the street looking like a million bucks.

What are the most overused items you have in your closet?

JJ: LOL. My overalls. They work magic “” it’s weird.

What is your idea of happiness?

JJ: My idea of happiness is being on a beach I can’t pronounce, underneath the moonlight with a drink in my hand with those I love the most and with random people I’ll never see again.

Who are your heroes in real life?

JJ: My heroes would be my mother and father. They are the strongest, wisest people I know. They are incredible.

The natural talent I’d like to be blessed with is?

JJ: To be able to pick up languages super quickly. I dream of the day I’m with a friend and I start speaking to someone in a foreign language and my friend gives me a questioning look and I stare back at them, don’t say a word, and just walk away. Speechless.

What’s the best thing about being Jay Jackson?

JJ: The best thing about being me is that I’ve got this crazy talent for making people laugh. IDK why.  Oh, and also when people ask, “Jay Jackson? Is that your real name or what?” That’s pretty fun, too.

What’s your favorite kind of /ESCAPE?

JJ: My favorite kind of escape is to totally cut off for a while on a beach with a fresh coconut in my hand “” which reminds me”¦


Produced and edited by Dan Buenaventura

Photography by Shaira Luna

Styling by Rione Palacios

Makeup by Arianne Susanne Tan

Hairstyling by Rona Resngit

Follow Jay Jackson on Instagram via @jonathonjackson.